Tips & Techniques

'The F Word' Kingston University Creative Technologies Guest Lecture

Here at APVideo we are advocates for the growth and development of new members in the creative industries, students being one aspect of this. We occasionally guest lecture for the Creative Technologies courses at Kingston University.

 The F Word Creative Technologies Guest Lecture at Kingston University

The F Word Creative Technologies Guest Lecture at Kingston University

Here are the lecture notes and podcast entitled 'The F Word'. Can you guess what the F word is?

You probably guessed it, freelancing was the topic of the guest lecture at Kingston University for students in the 'Creative Technologies' courses. I graduated in Television and Video Tech (a course that is sadly no longer running) back in 2013/14, and since then freelancing has been a big part of the journey I'm currently on.

I showed a number of films that I worked on, including the BTS film for 'OSTRICH' which was created to promote the Tokina Cinema Lenses;

More recently, I worked with HaZ Dulull on his latest feature entitled 'The Beyond';

Later in the lecture, I showed a diagram that a TV producer showed me on a packed DLR train after BVE a couple of years ago. It's a graphical way of working out the steps to get to where you want to be, whether that is for work or for creativity. I've called it 'The 4 stages of career development and creative enlightenment!'

 The 4 stages of career development and creative enlightenment!

The 4 stages of career development and creative enlightenment!

Enjoy the podcast and videos, it was great to go back again and I look forward to the workshops that are in the plans.

Lightroom Mobile: Why You Should Be Using It

Lightroom Mobile: Why You Should Be Using It

I take a look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Mobile for iPhone photography, capable of taking photos in DNG format and more prescise editing features.

The Filmmaking Masterclass 2015.. Behind The Scenes Part 2

The Filmmaking Masterclass 2015.. Behind The Scenes Part 2

Part 2 of the filmmaking masterclass behind the scenes production!

The Filmmaking Masterclass 2015.. Behind The Scenes (Part 1)

Producing a video with storytelling (Part 1)

I jumped at the chance to film the BTS when I saw Philip Bloom and Nino Leitner's 'Filmmaking Masterclass' were coming to Surrey for their 2015 workshop. Having captured many events before, this was a chance for me to hone in on my videography skills and produce a great BTS film to show what the workshop is about and help promote it for future events. Of course, filming for Nino and Philip put more pressure onto producing something amazing.

As I'm a one man band producer, I roped in help from good friends of mine to help film other aspects of the workshop (which spanned over 3 days). Meticulous planning was required to make sure we captured everything we could, and that the equipment was ready for the next days shooting on location. Keeping in mind the"shoot 20% content and 80% b-roll" tip was definitely important for this production, so there was plenty of emphasis on attendee interviews at different stages of the workshop to capture progress, and filming them working as a crew producing a short film too. This together helped form the basis of the beginning, middle and end narrative; a structure that is familiar, but works to add progression and pace to a video.

Preparing the treatment

To keep the production tightly knit and not over shooting, I produced a treatment for each crew member so we knew exactly what was going on, where, with what kit. This helped us work to capturing something different each day and follow the narrative -

1.       Brief the crew with the aims and expectations of the overall production.

2.       Confirm the details of the location, including the best travel routes from their location (avoiding major motorways and roads during congesting).

3.       Choose the best equipment for the job. Never over pack the kit bag, go simple and strategic for the look and style of production.

4.       Prepare an equipment list to check off each day and familiarize crew of the production setup with camera techniques, settings and audio.

5.       List all key moments and shots to acquire throughout each filming day, which may include interviews, specific time lapses, and drone or gimbal shots for example.

On the day:

6.       When you are working in a crew, they are your family.

7.       Introduce the crew to the key people at the event; from the event organizers to the mentors, to ensure that they are all comfortable and acknowledged as part of the BTS crew.

8.       Film a couple of shots with the crew to demonstrate the style of production and tips for filming in that location/settings.

 Adam and Ed

Adam and Ed

 Ed and Mikey

Ed and Mikey

The Kit

The kit prep was a challenge as it's always tempting to take too much, which in some cases makes you less mobile. For the workshop, crews would be spread over a large location (indoors and outdoors) so being portable with a small footprint was the cornerstone of what kit was used.

 Manfrotto Backpack 35-PL

Manfrotto Backpack 35-PL

Adam Plowden Video using Sony A7s and Atomos Shogun

A personal favourite of mine is using the 100mm macro lens for portraits or specific subjects or objects as it beautifully crushes the background into a lovely bokeh, as if it was taken on a much better lens and camera. That combined with the Shogun shooting in 4K gives so beautiful images. Also, as much of the first and last days shooting was indoors, I often ramped up the ISO to 6400 and happily shot away knowing that the resultant image would be pleasantly clean.

Adam Plowden Video using Sony A7s and Canon 100mm macro

Audio wise, I had the Rode VideoMicro hooked up to the A7S for the entire production, its an awesome little microphone which sits neatly on the cage. I’ve found previous on camera mics clunky and often require a 9V battery, but the little VideoMicro uses the camera power and packs a load of great audio quality into a tiny price tag. For the interviews, I hooked up the Rode NTG4+ into the H6 and handheld. No need for a clamp and magic arm in this case.

The Shoot

The night before the workshop got the attendees together to meet and chat, I took this opportunity to interview some of the attendees to get their expectations of the workshop (the beginning part of the narrative). The pre-event networking is a brilliant way to break the ice with people who'll become part of your crew, and become new friends. The interviews were shot on the Tamron 24-70, it was rather dark so I remember shooting quite shallow with a high ISO. For the audio, I used the NTG4+ but this still captured a fair bit of background noise.

Day 1 was based around working together as a crew and planning the shoot for the following day. Throwing the participants in the deep end, they were set the task of producing a short video using 'in camera editing', a challenging task for them that revealed how the crews communicate and work together. I captured plenty of the crews shooting their scenes, and grabbed some vox pops from the group mentors on the fly to add some narrative to filming. I simply shot this on a monopod using the VideoMicro for audio, as I was in close quarters with the mentors.

Adam Plowden Video at Filmmaking Masterclass
Adam Plowden Video at Filmmaking Masterclass

Throughout the day I shot more of the participants networking (one of the key reasons to come to events like this as, it's not what you know, it's who you know), and their presentations in the afternoon. For the presentations I shot mainly on the 755CX-3 tripod to get nice steady shots on a long lens, while using the 100mm macro got me wonderfully close for portrait style shots of the participants.

Sometimes I shot on the Manfrotto MVM500AH monopod, just to get into tighter spaces or be more maneuverable on my feet.

Adam Plowden Video at Filmmaking Masterclass

Come the end of the day I grabbed essential interviews with Philip, Nino and Johnnie in a couple of locations to add some variety. What the mentors say will act as an audio-narrative for the BTS films as the questions flowed from 'Why do you recommend coming on an intensive workshop like this?' I also grabbed some interviews with the attendees, getting their thoughts and experiences from the first day, that would then help me build up the storytelling narrative of progression for the BTS film.

Part 2 of this blog will look at the second workshop day where the attendees capture and edit their short films, as well as the post production process I used to edit the BTS film together!

Reviving the 5D mk III for HD Video with Atomos Ninja Blade!

Reviving the 5D mk III for HD Video with Atomos Ninja Blade!

I get out and film with the Atomos Ninja Blade (external HD recorder and monitor) to revive my Canon 5D mk III!

Shadows and Light was INCREDIBLE!

I arrived for the brand new 'Shadows and Light' two day filmmaking workshop on Sunday evening, excited to hone in on skills and meet new friends. The drive was smooth, only an hour from Surrey down to Brighton where I was greeted by lovely staff and great room at the Umi (on the seafront).

I dumped my stuff and met my good friend and VFX/Director mastermind HaZ before heading to the pre-drinks to meet everyone. Informal drinks like this are perfect for networking, so remember business cards!!

I met Olly, the 'behind the scenes' filmmaker for the night and the first day and got chatting as he was using a 5D mkIII like me. I also caught up with Nino, and met the wonderful organizer of the event, Fraser, who did a great job of running the event, keeping everything in check.

HaZ and I also chatted to Ollie Kenchington about production for grading and many other things, another great person to meet!!

I also met Yusuf at the pre-drinks when talking about shooting on the A7S, and on returning to the hotel I met Giordano Borghi, an Italian wedding filmmaker who I really enjoyed chatting to over a whisky on the rocks.

Day one was hosted at 'Dukes at Komedia' theatre in Brighton town, great venue with comfortable seats for recovery from the late night.. I was enthralled by Vincent Laforets presentation about motion, in which I got grilled by Vincent in front of the professionals and attendees over my 'Seasons Are Changing' video. He commented it was beautifully shot, but the long takes with unmotivated movement would make the audience somewhat bored. It was fantastic feedback from him, despite the public screening!!

Technical Difficulties?

After a break, HaZ presented his talk about VFX in low budget film making, and also considering and directing it in your films. As always HaZ is just a fantastic chap and screened the whole SYNC film, which I was the 1st AC on (shot in Southend), and features one of my shots on the jib!

It was then I met James, who is incorporating film into his company. He's a fantastic dude, and it was great to meet him and chat more throughout the day. I look forward to collaborating in the future :)

Another talk that got me thinking was 'Colour Grading' by Olly Kenchington, who got in deep with shadows and light, and colour theory, and how to produce such grades in Resolve with ease, as well as enhancing the shots/scenes from OK to GREAT!

Day 1 ended with Philip Bloom's talk, followed by the party! Well done to the raffle winners, great prizes donated from the events sponsors; Miller, Rode, Adobe and more.

Day 2 comprised of intense group workshops covering many areas of filmmaking. We were divided into groups which was great for networking with new people attending, and headed to Philip Bloom's workshop on using gimbals (like the MoVI) for filming motion. We got hands on with a range of equipment to see what it's like to operate/walk around using an M5 with a Sony A7S.

I was impressed by this little Defy G2X gimball.

Next on to James Miller's 'Lens Whacking' workshop, very hands on with old manual lenses out in the street. I met one of the models, Ruby, and had a great time filming her while trying to get the hang of 'whacking' the lens for 'ethereal' looking light leaks and almost 'tilt-shift' esque focusing.

Luckilly for us, the sun was beaming through the clouds which was perfect for trying to get some leaks in the frame. We stopped for lunch, then continued on to Vincent's workshop.. The BEST of the day!

Vincent talked through a number of movies with a moving camera, breaking down the scene to show how the narrative flows and is complemented by moving the camera, and the characters in frame. We then got hands on blocking out a small scene, which was fantastic to see to get to grips with working as a director when moving the camera.

Lastly was my good mate, Nino, who was talking about filming interviews and using motion control to add interest to otherwise uninspiring corporates. Using a bright window, we set up an interview scene with LED lights and the Kessler second shooter device to move the camera on the pocket dolly. This added much needed life to an otherwise 'standard' two camera shoot.

It was how big, Nino?!

I had an awesome time, and was happy to give a piece to camera about my thoughts on the workshop. Over the two days I learned an incredible amount that I can directly apply to my work to make films that are more engaging and that have motivated movement! I made loads of new friends too, both from the UK and internationally. For networking and collaboration, there was no better place to be.

Productive first month of 2015!

As it reads above, I have been very busy recently with pre-production for a number of up coming projects, one of which is with Screen Subtitling Systems!

Screen is creating new branding for sales and online, and to go with that I've been set the task of producing a number of animations for them. I've done plenty of research into Screen, and have a great relationship with the marketing team, which means we have very good communication.

Tip No.1: build relationships from the outset of meeting someone.

Since our last meeting, I've developed a number of mood boards and narrative/VO ideas of the script/dialogue and a storyboard to go with it to represent the animations on screen. After drawing a number of ideas and storyboards I managed to narrow down the content for the first animation, and the graphics as well. I've then worked this into an After Effects storyboard with still images for preparation for a presentation.

Screen animation mind map

Tp No.2: preparation and planning what you are going to do, for when, any why is really important. In terms of the animations I'm working with, that means producing mood boards, storyboards, sketches and basic designs, building into digital mock ups. These can then be used as elements in the animations!

I've also been out with Glen, we had a walk around Leith Hill a couple of weekends ago, I took the 24-70 and 100mm L on the 5D mk III. The hill was so high up that we were in cloud, combined with a constant beautiful golden hour made for beautiful photos. Glen took his film camera with him, and captured some gorgeous shots. Here's some of mine..

I'm still working on the videography business/investment post, it is a long one as you can imagine but it will be coming soon. I'll be going the the CVP Sony A7S event featuring Philip Bloom on the 11th which will be a great contributor to my knowledge. As well as narrowing down potential kit choices for this years video productions, I may be able to get some info from the CVP team about my potential kit choices and finance options.

UPDATE (06/02/2015) Canon have now officially announced two new 5D model DSLR’s with a 50MP count, with a photography focus rather than video. This reinforces industry voices that Canon are pushing video pro’s up to their high end cinema cameras.. Sony for me I think!
— http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/02/06/canon-launch-5ds-and-5ds-r-video-features-take-back-seat-to-high-res-stills/

Tip No.3: Never stop learning. Get yourself to BVE for FREE from the 24th-26th Feb for seminars on 4K, editing, lighting, broadcast and the great expo!

Lastly, back in the beginning of January I was out filming Sarah and Matt's wedding. I started with the preparations while Glen was at the venue capturing some shots of the location, Matt and the guests arriving. I had the Pro Media Gear Dual-arc slider on Manfrotto 055 Pro-B legs, with a range of lenses for shooting in potential low light (not knowing what the day or location might turn out like later on, and if the weather changes..)

 Chosen equipment for filming a funky wedding - Canon 5D plus a range of fast zooms and primes. Not to forget audio!

Chosen equipment for filming a funky wedding - Canon 5D plus a range of fast zooms and primes. Not to forget audio!

I captured some of the days footage in 50fps slow mo, when the light was available for a little bit of luxury with moving shots. When in video mode on the 5D mk III the 50fps mode is only available in 720p, not 1080p. This does make the footage softer, but I've found using the Red Giant 'Instant 4K' plug-in works well to upscale the clips to 1080, and sharpen them a little.

Sarah and Matt

Throughout the day I switched mainly between the Tamron 24-70 and Canon 100mm L for wide/standard framing and then more detail/close ups. I've found this works well as there is no 24-135 F/2.8.. If you are working with a Canon 60D, or an APS-C camera you get a lovely look when using an 85mm or 100mm (as the focal length is multiplied), with a pretty bokeh as well. For cool-perspective ultra wide angle, the Samyang 14mm T/3.1 works a treat, for skate videos and music videos where you want to warp reality a little!

There will be more on the wedding film production in an up coming Manfrotto Ambassador blog!

Tip No.4: tell a story through your video/film, narrative-speaking there is a beginning, middle and end set around key events. It may sound like redundant advice, but many videos I watch fail to build the narrative or story through the visuals. It provides an immersive experience for your viewers, getting them involved with what you've produced.

*Now following up a few days later, the meeting with Screen went very well, I traveled up to their Suffolk HQ, a beautiful old building in the country. Myself, the marketing dept and business development were present as I showed my basic concepts and ideas, and we discussed further the ideas and terminology.

Tip No.5: if you're working with clients in a different industry to yours, do your best to learn as much as you can about their business, products, services, strategies, and what their clients want.

This has been fantastic progress for the end of January, which is usually a slow month for productions. With the wedding film almost complete, and the design beginning for the Screen Systems project I am confident it's the beginning to a great year. Not to mention the potential of IABM event coverage too! I'm due to visit the IABM team next week to talk further about this years videography.

After the CVP event with PB I'm sure to have worked to some conclusion for the video business investment post, but it may have to wait until BVE.. We shall see!

 Some macro photography going on in the background, little herbs going!

Some macro photography going on in the background, little herbs going!

 From a quick walk in the morning.. Kids in Epsom and Ewell leaving their childhood behind!

From a quick walk in the morning.. Kids in Epsom and Ewell leaving their childhood behind!

Keep an eye out for my new Manfrotto Ambassador blog about filming weddings with Manfrotto gear, and I'm going up to London tonight for some night photography so I'll share the results with you later!

'Adam's 5 Golden Rules of Videography'!

I was asked by Manfrotto to list my 5 golden rules of videography, and while I think creativity shouldn't be bound by rules to follow, these 'pointers' will keep you heading in the right direction to make awesome videos and films!

Check out the rules here..

http://www.manfrottoschoolofxcellence.com/2014/12/adam-plowdens-five-golden-rules/#.VJK9FbFXspV

Manfrotto 5 golden rules videography

Welcome to the boardroom

I'm doing a few productions for the IABM in the lead up to their annual conference in December, which included a video shoot in London at IBM; a panel discussion on the key topics of the conference, and the industry at the moment.

John Ive, the director of business and technology at the IABM chaired the discussion, with six of the top decision makers in the industry around the table, which included: Dominic Stone (Our host at IBM and multimedia executive), Rob Roberts (Avid), Marc Risby (Boxer), David Peto (Aframe), Chris Steele (Marquis), Paul Glasgow (Chyron Hego).

It was an early start for myself and Glen, to get a head start in the traffic heading up to the South Bank. Usually I would get the train, but as this was a full setup I required my little cars assistance to get the equipment there!

 Glen at IBM

Glen at IBM

 Me at IBM!

Me at IBM!

We arrived at the IBM office on the South Bank with plenty of time to spare, and after unloading the equipment in the loading bay we parked up in the National Theater and met our host for the day, Dominic. A wonderful chap with a wealth of experience as a television producer, many thanks for your hospitality throughout the day!

 Trolley fulla gear!

Trolley fulla gear!

 What the conference room at IBM looked like before we got our hands on it!

What the conference room at IBM looked like before we got our hands on it!

Once we had access to the conference room, we began the setup and moved any unnecessary furniture out of the way. Manfrotto has greatly helped me on this as much of the kit is new and definitely new to this kind of video environment too, and after IBC I was very keen to try out the new tripods; which now can be lowered to almost ground level with innovative locking joints. Also, although I'm using a 5D and telephoto lenses to shoot with (so the load is not very heavy), but having steady and smooth shots are imperative to keeping a good composition, both the tripod and video head allow me to achieve shake free pans and tilts, which can be counter balanced depending on your camera, lens and accessory setup.

The new light stands are awesome. I know it is something simple, but it makes a massive difference. Stands and poles can often get mislaid, damaged in transit or in use, or simply can't withhold a wide variety of lights and accessories. These on the other hand have a brilliant locking system to hold multiple stands together, meaning they can be carried and transported very easily. They are not heavy, and can take a heavy load (not that these SPECTRA 1X1 LED panels are that heavy)!

 Panel video setup with Manfrotto 1x1 bi-colour LED light

Panel video setup with Manfrotto 1x1 bi-colour LED light

After lunch, we checked the colour temperature on the four lights; the two front facing the panel, one giving a back light onto the speakers and background, and a smaller 900 panel to push a little extra light into the right panelists. All of the lights are bi-colour, which gives maximum flexibility when the video scenario changes so frequently.

The lights I used were: Manfrotto Spectra 1x1FT x 3, Spectra 900FT and the 1004BAC pro light stands.

To make sure all of the cameras were exposed and set correctly, we did a custom white balance and orientated around the cameras and lights to make sure we achieved the best out of the setup.

I transported the camera and audio equipment in the Manfrotto Pro Backpack50 as its large capacity was required for the amount of kit I needed which included:

  • Canon 5D mkIII
  • Canon 60D
  • Tamron 24-70
  • Sigma 70-200
  • Samyang 35mm
  • Samyang 14mm
  • Zoom H1
  • Zoom H6
  • Sennheizer ENG-G3
  • Rode Lavalier
  • Roto-mic
  • Canon batteries, AA batteries for microphones and audio recorders, chargers for all.

I also had the Manfrotto 536 MPRO tripod and 504 HD video head in the large tripod bag, and the ProCX-3 and Pro-B for the other cameras.

 Marc Risby, one of the panelists tweets about his experience!

Marc Risby, one of the panelists tweets about his experience!

While we were setting up!

Adam Plowden Video setup

Shortly after our panelists arrived, and they were eager to get started in discussion; I put the lapel mics on and plugged them into the H6. John kindly allowed us to use a couple of cameras and microphones for the extensive number of panelists. The Sony ECM-77 are great lav mics with good audible response, as is the Rode Lavalier which I used with the MiCon-1 connector into the ENG-G3 wireless kit.

I got the panel talking for a practice run through while I checked the audio levels on the H6, which was placed under John's chair (due to the cable length I could not monitor the camera from my filming position).

If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll have seen I have been looking for a wide angle lens for both an APS-C and FF sensor (so far Canon's 16-35 F/2.8 is best), so I was without my Tamron 17-50mm (my standard lens on the 60D as a wide). To compensate for this, I alternated my usual video setup from 5D and Sigma 70-200mm for an MCU and 60D and 17-50mm for a wide to; 5D and Tamron 24-70mm for a wide and 60D and 70-200mm for an MCU which allowed me to capture a good wide angle of the whole panel, as well as a great MCU on the speaker.

The 504HD video head has integrated fluid drag and resistance which makes panning and tilting a dream for video; it is smooth, yet easily changed depending on the subject and timing of the camera moves. A large pan-handle makes the motion firm and steady throughout.

With a vast experience in broadcasting from all of the panelists, it was difficult not to get distracted into the conversation. After each discussion we shot some VoxPops for the conference with the other panelists that did not participate in that panel, which will be used throughout the presentations and panels at the IABM annual conference in December.

Unlike the Zoom H4N, the H6 has an incredible power consumption rate meaning on four AA batteries it can record multiple channels (four in this care) for a good 2 hours without needing to change! This meant I could rely on it recording stand-alone under Johns seat without monitoring, after each channel was correctly set (with a general limiter on).

In terms of the camera settings I was using:

 - VisionTech2 Picture Profile

 - F/4.5 on the MCU so focusing between panelists was minimum

 - Because of light setting, as well as not much fast motion happening I reduced the electronic shutter to 1/33.

 - ISO between 400 and 640 due to the good light produced from the 1x1's!

Once the filming was complete, we quickly de-rigged the setup so we could get out of London as quickly as possible; not to get held up with traffic queues etc.. Thankfully, all of the Manfrotto gear we had is fast to setup and tear down so we were ready to leave within half an hour or so!

Once I got back home, I begun the ingest and backup process; remembering to have 3 copies of the footage and audio on separate drives in case any fail. I also began re-naming the files so it is easier for me to locate specific panelists microphones when doing the audio mix-down.

Although the Zoom H6 is an awesome recorder, it for some reason records track 3 and 4 together (as a stereo channel) so I had to split the Tr3-4 into separate Track 3 and Track 4 files using Audition. This is a simple process, but I wonder if this can be changed in the device itself?

splitting stereo track mix adobe audition APV

Here you can see the top track is different to the other, this is because the T3 and T4 inputs were from different speaker microphones, but recorded together. To resolve this, I simply solo'd the track I needed, selected ALL and copied, created a new audio stereo track and pasted the track there; this creates a Left or Right track for you in the new audio file.

replaced stereo audio file APV

Here, I've created a new stereo audio track and pasted the solo'd track into it. The new stereo audio file then replicated the audio on both tracks. I then saved this as a new audio track.

In Pluraleyes, I created the four camera sources and imported their respective video files, and then singularly imported each audio track into a new audio recorder as a new audio source (instead of importing the five tracks into the same audio recorder). This would allow me to control not only each track individually, but also when I separate the four sections into their own multi-camera sequences I have separate audio tracks rather than one reallyyy long one.

importing footage to pluraleyes APV
separate audio recorder devices per microphone APV

You can see here that the audio tracks from each microphone are separated in the sync.

video audio sync pluraleyes complete APV

I was amazed at the speed of the sync, only 1 minute 8 seconds to sync all of the video and audio from many different sources! I then exported the sync as both an XML and XML with replaced audio from Pluraleyes, and created a new Premiere Pro project for this production.

I imported the XML file into the new project, which imports and creates a new sequence with the synced footage in place. So easy! I then placed the footage into their respective sequences depending on the discussion topic, and prepared them for multi-camera editing!

adobe premiere pro sync footage edit APV
synced footage adobe premiere pro APV

The sequences are now ready to be cut using the Multi-camera interface! Unfortunately I can't show anymore as this is an IABM member exclusive video, but I hope you have enjoyed seeing how videos like this are produced on a small scale!

Thinking of making the jump to 4K?

You are in the same boat as me.. Having bought my 5D mkIII last December, there was no accessible 4K option until the Panasonic GH4 made its appearance in the Spring. I was devastated. Having invested heavily in Canon gear, any future move I make will need to fit with my current EF mount lenses, not to mention everything else such as batteries, memory cards and my overall production workflow.

http://www.eoshd.com/2014/04/panasonic-gh4-vs-sony-a7s-compared-wins-4k-battle-paper/

(EOS HD comparison between the cameras).

At the moment, there are two options on the table. Said to be like comparing apples and oranges, the Sony A7s and GH4 are the current competing professional cameras that offer 4K functionality, however for people that own the cameras and have been comparing the two have found it difficult. This is for a few reasons:

Sensor size: The A7s is full frame, the GH4 is MFT.

4K in camera: The GH4 can record 4K internally, the A7s requires an external recorder such as an Odyssey or Shogun.

Philip Bloom using the Q7, from: http://philipbloom.net/2014/07/19/magician/

Jeromy, CEO of Atomos talking to me and Sam from The IABM about new products and the IBC Show.

Now, many people will be arguing that what does the increased resolution allow you to do, that HD doesn't? The image produced from the 5D is great; good in low light, versatile, fits my style of filming... But it also has big downfalls for being a DSLR, and not a video camera.

Something that is unique about these two cameras is that their 'out of the box' functionality has been fine tuned for video applications, as well as high end photography. This is what Canon has left behind in their non Cinema line cameras, and Magic Lantern has struck gold on with their firmware hack enabling awesome video functions.

I have only recently installed ML on my 5D mkIII due to the current firmware on the camera. It was shipped with version 1.2.3, I was hesitant to downgrade the firmware and was patient in waiting for ML to develop a tested and working version for 1.2.3. Now having access to on screen aid such as waveform monitors and audio levels make such a difference, and restart movie for the longer filming durations is great. It turns your 'photography' camera into basically a video camera.

From: About DSLR (Youtube).

For my type of videography, the benefits of having not only 4K, but a wider range of options for recording will allow me to crop and downscale any 4K acquisition to HD and hold incredible picture detail, dynamic range and depth of field.

The recording bit rates are higher, meaning more data is stored for post production editing, compositing or grading.

Lastly, it should increase the production value of what I produce. Now, I am not stating that better equipment makes better videos. It does give you the opportunity to step up with what you can do in your work, and especially as it keeps you up to date in a world of ever changing and improving technology.

So, what is my investment cost?

This is dependent on your current shooting kit, and whether you can merge your current system with a new one. Perhaps you already shoot Sony or Panny, so you're in luck.

For me, all my lenses are Canon EF mount, some are electronic, others are manual, so an adapter would be needed in my case. The price of this is dependent on the glass you use, or are going to use.

Let's look at the Panasonic GH4 to start with.

Panasonic GH4 (body only) - £1296.00

Metabones Speedbooster EF to MFT (smart with electronics) - £468.00

GH4 batteries x 2 -£130

Transcend 600x ultimate SD card x 2 (Amazon price) - £36

Now, as the GH4 is MFT, I might purchase a wide angle lens because my current ultra wide angle 14mm T/3.1 would be almost 28mm T/6 due to the sensor equivalence. So, my options would be either:

Panasonic 12 - 35mm F/2.8 - £829.00

I did have the Samyang 12mm T/2, realizing it does not come in MFT mount.. So the above would be my option. I have used it before, it has great OIS and has a decent depth of field for an F/5.6 equivalent lens.

Total GH4 investment inc extra lens - £2759.00 (excluding extra lens - £1930.00)

That £1930 was pretty much the same price I paid for the 5D mkIII body only.

Panasonic GH4 basket

Now the Sony A7s.

Sony A7s (body and battery/PWR kit) - £2034.00

Metabones Speedbooster EF to E (smart with electronics) - £316.46

Transcend 600x ultimate SD card x 2 (Amazon price) - £36

The A7s does not record 4K internally, so I would need to purchase the Atomos Shogun recorder at - £1464.00

Also, as the A7s is compact in size, a cage is required to make it more accessible with the recorder and mics etc.

Movcam A7s cage - £148.02

Total A7s investment - £3998.48

(All prices are including VAT from CVP).

Sony A7s basket
Adam using the Panasonic GH4

Now.. I've shot on the Panasonic GH4 and I like it. When I've talked to Panasonic reps about the product they all had the same comment that Panasonic listened to videographers, and you can tell. The available recording formats and codecs allow a range of uses for the camera, and the features it packs into its tiny form are perfect for those that already utilize DSLR for video.

(Look back to earlier this year to the Park Camera's Panasonic open day - https://ajp1991.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/meet-the-panasonic-gh4/)

Personally, and this is very subjective to the way I was filming when using the camera, the captured video looked like video. Some will understand what I mean, others won't, but for those that have been shooting on a full frame camera, the 'look' is there. Obviously the sensor plays a large part in that, but if I purchased a GH4 kit outright (disregarding my current EF mount lenses).. I would purchase the Voightlander 25mm and the trusted Samyang cine lenses which might just combat the 'look' issue I feel like I have. As well as high quality ND filters so my shutter can remain at 1/50th.

Really quick GH4 test:

Trying out the 4K, and again a basic test:

(Please if you have experience, tips, footage or photos that you would like to share, please do!)

What am I going to do then?

My dad taught me something really great; good things come to those who wait. In other words, have patience.

As others test out, review and produce videos using the GH4 and A7s (and other cameras that pop up here and there), I will be closer to making my decision. For now, I know to hold off. A good thing for me to do would be to road test both cameras, work it with all of it's video functions and produce a couple of vids that I can look back on. The folks at Park Camera's are great at in store demos, but I can also wait for BVE in Feb 2015.

So, I can frustratingly wait a little longer for my jump to the next innovation of video production and delivery.

In the mean time I can always look at Blackmagic Design's options that shoot 4K, as well as the Apertus AXIOM modular camera, and keep the new Arri Alexa 65 and RED Dragon for my dreams.

axiom-modules-06[1]

From - https://www.apertus.org/

Five things I wish I knew when I started as a videographer....

Five things I wish I knew when I first jumped into the creative videograpy adventure that is my life:

1. It does not matter what camera you use, invest wisely in reliable glass.

Entitled 'F**k with nature and nature f**ks with you', after previewing it appears it loads as a playlist, so please skip down to the bottom! Shot on my first DSLR; Nikon D5000 and 17-50mm F/3.5 -5.6, a uni project.

2. Work for free (yes, it's the only way you'll generate enough video content, but you'll make friends, have a good laugh, experience terrible mistakes and awesome times).

Produced by Adam Plowden Videography, edited by Joe Bannister. Shot on Canon 60D, Tamron 17-50, Canon 50mm F/1.8, Canon 18-135mm

3. Fix it in post doesn't exist, in fact, trying to fix it in post can do more harm than good (at least with low budget DSLR productions like mine still are.. For now..).

I had to return to Sian Williams' house because I had over exposed a shot, and didn't get good enough sound during her interview.. Produced by Adam Plowden Videography, 'Behind The Scenes' uni project and mini web series.

4. Think of the sound and the light, our primary senses for absorbing content.

A quick example video shot for my Manfrotto Takeover seminar showing the use of sound and light in short video drama to add emotion. 5DmkIII, Samyang 35mm, Tamron 24-70

5. Be yourself and create things that inspire you.. IE: Put you in your work. Copying other artists doesn't make you stand out, you can learn from them and implement your flair and style into whatever you do. That way, when you begin to get clients you know they are interested in not just what you make, but the person behind it.

A personal favorite is filming plants and nature, a good excuse to get away from the computer! 'Waterhouse' produced by Adam Plowden Videography.

Bonus tip. It is kind of included as part of No.2: Collaborate and work with others from different mediums; actors, musicians, vfx artists etc. It is how new ideas are generated!

SYNC is HaZ Dulull's new short film, I worked with him as well as DP Adam Batchelor on the production! It is backed by Blackmagic Design, Adobe, HP and more so give some support!!!

Adam and Glen 1st day in Amsterdam for IBC 2014! Taken on a disposable camera by Glen Symes.

I hope these little tips will serve you well, a shout out to Dave Beck at Avenger and John Harris at John Harris Media too I couldn't have done it without you! And Glen and Sam. Much love.

IABM - IBC Wrap Up 2014!

IBC Show 2014 Roundup!

adam plowden videography at ibc 2014 show manfrotto
adam plowden videography at ibc 2014 show manfrotto2
adam plowden videography at ibc 2014 show manfrotto3

What a week it was! There was no doubts we would be busy filming and editing videos for The IABM to release, but not on the scale we anticipated! Overall, Adam Plowden Videography captured and produced at least 8-10 videos each day, an incredible 6 times more video content delivered in one week than previously in the whole of 2013!

I did include a run-down of my kit choices before I left, but here is a quick summary of my chosen equipment to capture the IBC Show:

Manfrotto 546GB twin leg tripod with a 504HD head (A Cam).

Canon 5D mkIII, Tamron 24-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Samyang 14mm, 35mm, 85mm, Canon 100mm L.

Manfrotto 755CX3G tripod with a MVH500AH head (B Cam).

Canon 60D, Tamron 17-50mm, Canon 50mm.

Manfrotto Hydra Arm and super clamp.

Zoom H6, Sennheiser ENG-G3 RxTx kit, Roto-mic.

IBC 2014 equipment for IABM filming adam plowden videography manfrotto obs olympics

(This is the kit we took each day to film with!)

I had to have the above tripod gear after testing them out at my Manfrotto Takeover day, I was impressed by the fluidity of the 504 head when using it with telephoto lenses (as you can see above), however for lightweight, portable and quick 'run and gun' filming, the 755CX3G is a cracking go to set of legs. (Pictured above with the ProMediaGear Arc-Slider) and 701HDV head.

My main camera was: Canon 5D mkIII, and I was frequently using the Tamron 24-70 F/2.8 VC and Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 DC OS for 'go to' lenses around the show. They have a stabilizer in the lens, which means that shake and wobble can be eliminated. I also purchased the Canon 100mm F/2.8L macro lens before the trip for detail shots, but I fell in love with it for capturing everything; crisp and beautifully shallow portraits too.

adam plowden videography at ibc show 2014 canon 100mm macro l series sony professional interview

For establishing and wide shots, the Samyang 14mm T/3.1 cine lens came into it's own. On a full frame camera it has a huge wide angle view allowing to capture the biggest of expanses with clarity.

museumplein iamsterdam canon 5d mkiii samyang 14mm tourism wide adam plowden videography IBC show 2014

Day 2 - Thursday 11th September - Welcome to IBC

Things are gearing up at the RAI; exhibitors are flooding through the doors, the stands are quickly being finished and the equipment is on display. IBC Show 2014 is getting ready to open its doors to 50,000 broadcasting, media and IT professionals from across the globe. We began filming the exterior the the RAI with visitors entering the venue and registering in the main foyer; the arc slider and 14mm lens create a wonderful moving perspective. After a short explore around hall 10 and 11 we made our way to The IABM Members Lounge to film an exclusive interview with Peter White, CEO of The IABM.

The IABM is a global broadcasting organization, representing nearly 80% of the broadcasting industry. The members have access to an exclusive members lounge, the IABM business conference, design & innovation awards and much more. It was our job to capture the events, conferences and members at IBC to promote and inform others about the successes at the show. For the interview, I used the Canon 5D mkIII, Tamron 24-70mm, the B cam was a Canon 60D with Canon 50mm F/1.8. For a reliable audio source I used the Zoom H6 (multi-channel recorder) with the MS mic attachment, as well as the Sennheiser ENG-G3 wireless mic kit; this was so I could attach a lav mic on the interviewees for clear sound.

Yes, this did mean throughout the week we had different video and audio sources, but Red Giant Pluraleyes aided greatly in syncing up the V&A for editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

BTS editing IBC IABM intro video amsterdam

Editing the IBC Intro video with Peter White on my laptop, yes, Windows laptop!

After capturing the buzz and excitement of pre-IBC, we headed back to our hotel to edit the intro video for the IABM members to see. The editing was fast, but the uploading was terrible via Wi-Fi, having learned our lesson, we uploaded the rest of the videos in the press room at IBC instead! Unfortunately, the video is only viewable for IABM members, so here is a quick screenshot.

iabm intro video at ibc show 2014 adam plowden videography

Later on, we ventured out into the city of Amsterdam. It was Glen's first time, so I look him for a tour around the sights.

Glen in Amsterdam for IBC show with adam plowden videography

Day 3 - Friday 12th September - IABM Business Conference 'The Future of Broadcasting' and member interviews.

It was an early start on Friday, we arrived at the RAI for the IABM business conference at 6:45am to set up and capture the members breakfast, the conference and the post networking before the show got underway that day. For added motion, I used the ProMediaGear Arc-slider for some of the opening shots, but the main conference was shot on 3 static cameras.

iabm business conference at ibc show by adam plowden videography

For a mid shot of the speaker, I shot on the Sigma 70-200mm, and for a wide I used the 60D with the 17-50mm. Glen was filming from the front for a reverse angle on the 60D and Canon 100m L, which captured some stunning reaction shots of the attendees in low light. Unfortunately, this video is only available to watch for IABM members.

As our responsibility was to capture and edit videos for a same day or next day release, our two man filming team split so that Glen could begin ingesting, backing up and editing the conference video while I went out into the show and interviewed a number of IABM members. This turned out to be a godsend tactic to release a stream of high quality videos each day. It was, however, difficult to keep track of all the media from SD and CF cards...

That day, I filmed interviews with Georacing, Harmonic, Nexidia that we edited out for same day release:

I then jetted off to The IABM stand to meet the new winners of the Student award from The IABM (I won last year), to capture some interviews with them about their study and what they are looking forward to at IBC!

iabm student award winners ibc 2014 adam plowden videography

Day 4 - Design & Innovation Awards and member interviews

We were already half way through our IBC experience when Saturday struck, after a successful few days of filming and editing we geared ourselves up for a long day ahead. The day begun with a selection of IABM member interviews from around the show, including; Blackmagic Design, Avid, Newtek, Sony and many more. If you have been to IBC or NAB before you'll know how long it takes to get from one place to another, but with video kit it was a challenge to navigate around the thousands of people at the show!

I had a great time at the Sony booth, interviewing Peter Sykes about the new innovations; camera, 4K transmission, projectors, storage devices. They can be seen here:

I was intrigued by the Sony A7s, a full frame SLR with great low light and DR features.. There was lots of hype around the camera, and I had noticed a lot of the News Shooter guys using them with Atomos Ninja/Blade recorders (we were working next to Dan Chung and News Shooter in the press room), they rated it very well in a variety of conditions and shooting styles.

Bad luck struck on Saturday afternoon... My Canon 60D and 14mm cine lens was capturing a timelapse when it was moved/taken/stolen from where I left it.. Knowing that this would impact the video production of the D&I awards I quickly got help from RAI security to try and locate it. No luck, so later on that afternoon I borrowed a camera from an IABM member to capture a static wide shot of the awards ceremony. Luckily, when I arrived home I got a call from the RAI security who informed me they had found my camera!

canon 60d 14mm cine lens timelapse adam plowden videography ibc 2014
wohler interview at ibc 2014 for iabm adam plowden videography
vidigo interview at ibc show 2014 iabm adam plowden videography

We then got set up and prepared for The IABM Design and Innovation Awards 2014, celebrating and awarding outstanding technical developments in the broadcasting and media industry. Before IBC I edited and produced the 9 nominee category videos and graphics presented throughout the awards. Using the same setup as the IABM conference (A cam - Tele, B cam - wide, C cam - reactions) we captured the night in full, showing the excitement and buzz around winning the awards. I got to have a quick chat with some of the winner companies too!

I edited together the highlights of the IABM Design and Innovation Awards, which can be viewed here -

The individual winner interviews can be viewed here:

Systems - VidiGo

Testing - Cube-tec

Storage - Ardis

Post Production - Quantel

Playout - Elemental Technologies

Content + Infrastructure - NTT Electronics

Audio - Sennheiser

Acquisition + Production - Trimaran

The realities of working 12-14 hour days were catching up with us when we returned to our hotel to ingest and back up the footage. Finally, but 1:30am on Sunday all of the footage was synced and ready to be edited. At that point, we both thought its time to call it a day.

iabm design and innovation awards 2014 ibc show adam plowden videography
adam and glen design and innovation awards 2014 ibc show adam plowden videography

Day 5 - Delivering D&I Award Videos and member interviews

By Sunday, the main haul of event capture had been completed, with the remaining tasks being mainly interviews with members around the IBC show. As our editing 'system' had worked so well previously, Glen stayed in the press room using both our laptops to edit, export and upload the winner videos from the awards while I conducted interviews with more exhibitors and IBC members.

I had a great time at the Atomos booth interviewing Jeromy the CEO about the new Shogun for 4K recording and the power pack!

Atomos Interview -

jeromy atomos ceo at ibc show 2014 iabm interview adam plowden videography

Later that day I bumped into Joe, my old uni housemate  who was visiting the show for a day. Later, Glen and myself went for Mexican for dinner and met up with our hotel receptionist, Klaudija for a few drinks in Vondelpark!

adam and joe ibc show 2014 videography
adam and glen mexicans

At this point, I was completely over my missing 60D and the tiredness. Visiting IBC and Amsterdam for work is a very rare opportunity, so we plowed through and continued to produce great day by day coverage of the show for The IABM. Glen, bless him saw less and less daylight each day!

adam out filming interviews at ibc
Glen and Adam at ibc

Day 5 - Rising Stars and more member interviews

Arriving at IBC a little later than usual, Glen and myself parked up the the press area and set up the laptops to upload the previous days interviews to vimeo. Before we headed out to Steve Warners talk at Rising Stars I bumped into Nino Leitner who was off to Photokina that afternoon, so I grabbed a quick pic! Nino had been very busy with Cinema 5D coverage of the show producing their 'On The Couch' series with Philip Bloom, HaZ Dullul and more.

adam plowden and nino leitner ibc show 2014

At this point, we had captured around 350Gb of video footage and delivered numerous interviews and event videos for The IABM, they were very pleased! We headed over to The Rising Stars lounge; a part of the show dedicated to young professionals in the industry where Steve Warner (training manager of The IABM) was doing a talk on CV's and representing yourself. Even for me, it was quite interesting to hear what recruiters actually look out for and research!

steve warner iabm training manager talk rising stars ibc 2014

Catch the full video here -

The team then split so I could conduct some interviews with The IABM student award winners, and with a couple more members for The IABM annual conference in December. It was a short and sweet day; shooting multi-cam on talks and conferences made editing fairly straight forward so we were able to deliver the videos pretty much on the same day. Glen did an awesome job and editing videos out quickly. while I was filming more content!

Day 6 - Last interviews

Day 6 was our opportunity to capture the last interview and glimpse of the show until next year. As we were interviewing members and covering events, we didn't get to see that much of the show itself, but made time to visit some cool stands before we left on Tuesday afternoon.

We visited the Ross Video stand, to interview Pete Ross for The IABM annual conference, it was interesting to hear about how the company developed the first vision mixers and lead the way for broadcast production throughout the 20th century, definitely worth recognition.

adams last day at ibc on the tram in Amsterdam
the Amsterdam RAI, home of IBC
Ross video stand at ibc show
Ross video stand at ibc show2
saying goodbye to the IBC press room!
Glen at IBC
Adam at IBC
Glen and Adam leaving IBC 2014 for the last time!

Well, what an incredible time it has been.. We captured over 400Gb of footage and audio, combined with hours of graphics produced before the show. We delivered (and are continuing to deliver) over 55 videos online for The IABM. What a show, what a success! My huge thanks go to the other half of the team, Glen Symes for his help and dedication to getting the videos out, and dealing with my stresses of production and post throughout! Also thanks to The IABM for giving me the opportunity to cover The IBC Show 2014 for you.

Ooh, I almost forgot I stopped by the Vitec Videocom stand to say hi to the Manfrotto reps and return the tripods and grip we borrowed for filming. While we were there I asked Sofia for a short piece to camera on the new Manfrotto tripods and kit; I was over the moon to hear a new follow focus has been developed to go with the SYMPLA rig!

Check out the video with Manfrotto here -

I've met up with old friends, and made many new ones. My experience has been overwhelming this year, now I cannot wait to do it all again at The IABM Annual Conference and hopefully IBC 2015! If you have any questions about how we produced the videos, or IBC then drop me a tweet @Plowman91 or comment!

I'm still editing and uploading more videos, so keep updated by checking out The IABM website for more videos and content, and I will have an IBC 2014 wrap up video coming soon. UNTIL NEXT YEAR!

Summer Update!

It has been a very wild summer for me, lots of productions and shooting and plenty of editing! Going back to the end of July/beginning of August, I was deep into the wedding season with JHWF, filming weddings from Ashford, Kent to St Johns College Cambridge. I also got to fly the companies DJI Phantom II Drone with a GoPro Hero 3 and Zenmuse 2D gimball, it was incredible fun (for a first timer)!! [embed]https://vimeo.com/103891840[/embed]

Wedding at Eastwell Manor (Kent) via JHWF.

I also did the Ice Bucket Challenge;

[embed]https://vimeo.com/104416562[/embed]

I spent most weekends out filming weddings, where I got to try out my new Pro Media Gear Duo slider; it is simply a 2ft straight slider with a curved track on the reverse side. Honestly, it is so simple I don't know how companies didn't think of it before! It is extremely easy to use and is lightweight, my 5D and Sigma 70-200mm smoothly slides along the track. It sits on a removable carriage (so you can flip the slider over) with four plastic castors. 100% recommended, I purchased directly from them in the USA, it came within the delivery time (3 days) and is cost effective in comparison to similar track based sliders out there.

[embed]https://vimeo.com/103717010[/embed]

I mount the slider onto my Manfrotto 755Pro-B tripod (without a video head) using the clamp accessory which holds it firmly in place. This is on my IBC kit list!

Pro media gear duo slider

I also helped out director HaZ Dulull on the production of his new short film 'SYNC', it took place in an underground car park in Southend with a bunch of SWAT guys, two massive SUV's, Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and a Production camera. It was a great day shooting, operating the camera and jib for some shots was awesome!

SYNC film shoot

Crew pic!

SYNC film shoot crew pic

Going back a couple of weeks, I was editing the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Health and Wellbeing videos which involved writing up captions and mastering the audio levels as I'm quite near completion. I was offered the opportunity to get some more footage of the activities that the Wellbeing Centre offers for those that suffer with dementia including tennis and Japanese mind games. I took up the offer to get some more footage for future council projects.

wellbeing tennis wellbeing tennis2

wellbeing tai chi

It was a hot and bright couple of days, so I used variable ND filters on my lenses to bring down the exposure without reducing the 5D's electronic shutter; a great tip for keeping motion blur realistic. I shot mostly on the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 OS as it does a wonderful job of isolating subjects from the background. A great lens choice if you don't have red ring fever!

I was also working on the graphics and animation for the EEBC Telecare video; I designed the graphics in Illustrator and Photoshop, then animated in After Effects in a hipstery style using shape layers, pastel tones and lots of easing!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/105682233]

I got some fantastic news towards the end of August, The IABM decided to go for me as their event videographer for the IBC Show and annual conference! Leading up to IBC I have been preparing a number of videos and graphics to be used and shown throughout the show and at a variety of awards, such as The IABM Design & Innovation Award.

I can't show you much at the moment as everything is under wraps until the events at the conference, but I can show you the title sequence for the videos. It's made in AE using some of the pics I took around the expo last year and other general press images from IBC.

[embed]https://vimeo.com/105437241[/embed]

After being WOW'd by the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro lens at my Manfrotto Takeover day, the thought of owning one has been rattling around my head since.. I was hopeful with the Sigma 105mm, but the Canon provided the next step up in terms of stabilization, auto focusing, and personally I just preferred the feel of it. I will be using the lens throughout IBC so keep checking for dedicated pics, videos and more!

Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro lens Schneider Kreuznach 35mm cine prime lens optic Manfrotto takeover 1 Schneider Kreuznach 35mm cine prime lens optic Manfrotto takeover 2

(The above photos of Schneider Kreuznach Xenon Cine Lenses taken on the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro by Adam Plowden).

I also booked my first wedding for January next year, so I met up with the couple 'Sarah and Matt' for a pre-shoot at their venue with Ash (who recommended me, thanks!!). I got some beautiful footage of them in the setting sun, here is a tiny teaser :)

[embed]https://vimeo.com/103859376[/embed]

One day to go until Glen and I leave for Amsterdam to film the IBC Show for The IABM, I did a quick vlog for you, an update on the kit, what we'll be covering. I will be releasing videos most days, blogging and tweeting lots to share the news from the conference, so remember the keep checking for updates! I'm hoping to catch up with PB and Nino Leitner too :)

[embed]https://vimeo.com/105643719[/embed]

Here's the low down on my kit list:

Canon 5D mkIII

2 x Canon 60D

Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8

Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8

Canon 100mm F/2.8L

Samyang 14mm T/3.1

Samyang 35mm T/1.5

Samyang 85mm T/1.5

Canon 50mm F/1.8

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4

Manfrotto SPECTRA Bi-colour 900FT

Manfrotto SPECTRA 500F

Zoom H6

Pro Media Gear Duo arc slider

Roto-mic

Sennheiser Wireless ENG-100 Rx-Tx

Adam Plowden Video IBC kit

I'm picking up some tripods, heads and a magic arm-super clamp from the Vitec team tomorrow, they are doing me a huuuge favor so thank you Dave, Mark and Siobhann from Manfrotto/Vitec!!

Here is something I've been checking out; If you love motion graphics and After Effects, then definitely check out The School Of Motion '30 Days of AE' tutorials, a range of in depth tuts ranging from objects to typography; check it out to learn something! http://www.schoolofmotion.com/

Right, I'm up at 3am to fly at 6. You will be reading the waffle of a very tired Adam tomorrow! Keep on following for more;

@Plowman91

Adam's Videos

Adam on Facebook

Oh and I made this for a mate too:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/105450445]

 

 

 

 

 

T minus 1 day til IBC Show!

Remember to keep up to date with the news and events by following this blog and on twitter - @plowman91! See you there!

New VLOG coming tomorrow!

I'm doing a new VLOG tomorrow, hosted by myself and Glen Symes as we cover the IBC Show for The IABM. We'll be giving the low down on our kit choices and capturing the events, news and products from the expo and conference floor. We depart on Wednesday for Amsterdam where I'll be catching up with Steve Warner (IABM Training), Nino Leitner (Cinematographer and Cinema5D), HaZ Dullul (SYNC) and many companies including DJI Phantom, Schneider Kreuznach, Sony and many more.

You can keep up to date here on the blog or -

Facebook - Adam Plowden Video

Twitter - @plowman91

Vimeo - Adam Plowden Video

Ooh, I got the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro lens, and the Peak Design Leash too ;)

Also been trekking on with the graphics for all of The IABM video content, a little teaser for you;

IBC IABM video teaser still

New summer post coming very soon!

It's been an extreme summer season! From epic weddings with drone flying to creating the videos for The IABM for IBC, it has been immense. Epsom and Ewell from the air, Adam Plowden Video

Now nearly 9 months since starting Adam Plowden Videography properly, I am over the moon with the great clients and people I've worked and am working with.

I still have a number of productions on the go, and I will be attending The IBC Show in September so there is much more great stuff to come!

Massive shout out to the team over at Manfrotto who have been a great help with sorting out equipment for my travels abroad!

Keep those creative juices flowing!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/103717010]

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/75340958]

Success at the Manfrotto Takeover!

Adam Plowden videography seminar manfrotto takeover park camera london

I had a great day at the Manfrotto Takeover on Wednesday at Park Cameras London, I hope all the visitors enjoyed their day too! I'm very busy at the moment, heading out to film a wedding today and tomorrow and have a growing collection of editing that needs to be completed too.. Better to be busy than to be sitting around doing nothing though!

I got to test the new Schneider Xenon cinematography lenses on Wednesday too; built for 4K cine productions, the T/2.1 prime lenses have focal lengths of 35, 50 and 75mm with other models soon to be available, and I'll be using them on my productions later on down the line. I was blown away by their performance, it's like looking through a new pair of eyes.

More to come later! Keep creative!

Schneider Kreuznach 35mm cine prime lens optic Manfrotto takeover 1
Schneider Kreuznach 35mm cine prime lens optic Manfrotto takeover 2

For those that couldn't make the day, or my seminar on videography a podcast will be uploaded later when I get back from the wedding and I am putting together a highlights video of the day (shot on Panasonic GH4 in Cinema 4K and on 5D mark III with the Schneider cine optics).

What a few months it has been!

Blimey, my last post was a while ago.. Honestly, since then work has got heavy and much of my time is either spent behind the camera or the screen. One exception was the Manfrotto Pro Backpack50 review, shot by Glen Symes for me where I actually appear in a video! Manfrotto pro backpack50 review video adam plowden and glen symes videography

Some of the things I've been up to range from filming quite a few weddings [embed]https://vimeo.com/98328657[/embed] to filming and editing for a series of videos on health and wellbeing.

eebc health and wellbeing video edit adam plowden videography

On the side, I've talked at EEHS about going through uni and starting a business, am preparing for my Manfrotto Tour videography seminar and other bits and bobs.. I'm sure if you follow me on twitter or facebook you'll have an idea of the things!

Going back a few weeks, my main projects have been the EEBC Health and Wellbeing video series, and an animation on Telecare. This is a predominantly piece to camera series, with additional b-roll shots to add to the videos messages which range from stopping smoking, to eating a healthy and balanced diet. The standard production of information videos ensued, editing down from around 45-50 minutes to a concise 2 minutes providing the relevant facts and summaries on prevention. Editing in Premiere Pro, I used the very good Luma Corrector tool for exposure changes and a simple RGB curves adjustment for the colour temperature.

I find the Luma Corrector better to work with, as by adjusting the Gamma control slightly, it removes the washed grey look to push out the prominent shadows and highlights meaning that it is very simple to correct/match shots; especially as I filmed using daylight as my key.

adobe premiere pro screenshot luma corrector effect adjust exposure

As per the clients request I have also added subtitles, which I created using the dynamic link into After Effects (noting at this point that if you're doing several stages of an edit, to duplicate the sequence you are working on before you start the next stage as Premiere and AE require you to save your work for updates to take place, meaning no Ctrl-Z/Command-Z to get back to a timeline with the clips rather than your 'replace in AE linked composition').

premiere pro dynamic link sequence editing

I was also out photographing flowers for a wedding, for the florist Madeleine Pink a few weeks ago too! Taken on a range of lenses with the Canon 5D mkIII (Tamron 24-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Samyang 14, 35, 85mm cine, and Nikkor 50mm).

Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography button hole Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography button hole 2 Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography brides bouquet Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography table bouquet Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography table bouquet silhouette Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography table bouquet 2 Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography table bouquet 3 Madeleine pink floral wedding flower photography adam plowden videography table bouquet 4

Since then, I ventured into using Lightroom to edit the photos as well, still learning bits and bobs but found a range of fantastic presets here that create some great looks. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the photos and the looks as well, as it's mostly stab in the dark/emotive based :P

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of filming Dan and Kelly's wedding in Ashford + Foxhills where I met the awesome Ash; a unique wedding photographer! Check out the wedding film here [embed]https://vimeo.com/97953644[/embed], and definitely check out Ash's work over at Ash Darling Photography! Highly recommended by me :D and I believe I'll be working with Ash soon on an up coming wedding, really looking forward to it!

 

Believe it or not, I have been doing some videography too! In between editing the health and wellbeing videos, and on the pre-production sketches of the telecare animation I spent a couple of afternoons in The Woodland Garden in Bushy Park; one of my favorite places to go to switch off work mode, relax and shoot some video for personal projects. I've named this one 'Waterhouse', it's the name of the part of the garden where a balcony looks over a pond with a waterhouse to the left. It poses interesting thoughts to its original function, the bricks and foundations holding strong throughout years of use and bad weather. Virginia Creepers pursue to edge up its sides, gripping on to reach the sunlight through the tree canopy.

beautiful blooming purple Allium flower photography adam plowden video waterhouse

The edit is complete, but I am now working on a quirky hipster logo/title animation for the beginning of the video so as soon as it has been animated and comped into the footage I will upload!

The kit I used for the 'Waterhouse' video include; Manfrotto 755Cx-3 tripod, Edelkrone Slider+ v2, Canon 5D mkIII, Canon 100mm F/2.8 macro (hence why the shake on the slider is slightly more visible than without IS/OS, but I have used Warp Stabilizer where I can). Tamron 24-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Samyang 14, 35, 85mm cine, Nikkor 50mm. After using the Canon macro lens, I have totally decided to purchase the Sigma 105mm F/2.8 OS macro lens; firstly because of future video productions where a small minimum focus distance is necessary (product, people, detail shots), also it has optical stabilization which I found was needed when moving the camera and lens on the slider, and lastly its around £400.. Bargain!

 

Things I've learned so far from doing this kind of work;

  • Shoot with a widespread histogram (unless I wish to isolate the subject from shadows behind).
  • Lightroom is awesome, try playing with the presets I linked to work on the developer tools.
  • Regardless if it has been a long day filming, if you want to talk to someone, always, always, always do it!
  • I want a macro lens for intricate detailed shots, as my current range does not let me get close enough to the subject.
  • Take some hand held lights for kicks and fills; the venue room where the table decorations were photographed was very dark. With a tripod and a couple of lights I would have had much more control over the lighting composition.
  • Dabble in a variety of work types, to keep it interesting and different!
  • I need a slider for cinematic moving shots; I have made my choice; not the Edelkrone! There will be a whole blog post on this coming soon.